Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The story of a love that became the most fearful thing that ever happened to a woman!
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.
The perfect noir comedy of desire, an erotic refraction played in dapper proximity to Hitchcock (what’s taken from Rebecca is passed on to Vertigo). The famous opening introduces aristocratic Manhattan as a perfumed glass cabinet, a whip pan followed without pause by a dolly-in reveals Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) in his bathroom soaking like Marat, venomous typewriter suspended above a marble bathtub. Queenly aesthete and viperish columnist ("sentiment comes easy at 50 cents a word"), he finds a Galatea in Laura (Gene Tierney) and helps her ascend from Madison Ave. go-getter to shimmering socialite. A disfigured corpse brings out the blue-collar detective (Dana Andrews) and the shady bourgeoisie: a sponging playboy (Vincent Price), the "lean, strong body" easily toppled, and…
A mystery film noir directed by Otto Preminger firing on all cylinders. The nights are pitch black, the weather is restless and the brightly lit interiors are filled with cigarette smoke, antique furniture and walking old-fashioned costumes. The atmosphere is stylishly conveyed and acutely perceived. The black and white cinematography is beautifully stark, the camera is moving smoothly, the dissolves are seamless. The sweeping, grandiose and dramatic score gives such weight to unfolding scenes. The dialogue is smart and very well written, excellently punctuated by the cast, part of which are Dana Andrews as the experienced and determined detective and Gene Tierney as the beautiful, attractive and fascinating titular character.
The mystery surrounding the murder is expertly constructed, allowing for…
An incredible film about male projection. LAURA initially plays into the cliché that tends to type all movies that start with the focal character dead, wherein the viewer gets to feel like that person is an active, driving character for the force they continue to exert on the living. But in this case, when Laura is revealed to be alive, her actual presence throws everything that came before into disarray, revealing that image driving the story to be nothing more than the idealized visions of different men in love with her. I've been wanting to watch this movie for years (it spent a solid year near and at the top of my Netflix queue but the disc was always rented out), but never knew anything about it. Imagine my surprise to get not only a great noir an incredibly ahead-of-its-time reflection on noir's pedestal problem.
''Love is eternal. It has been the strongest motivation for human actions throughout history. Love is stronger than life. It reaches beyond the dark shadow of death.''
It's been a good long while since I sunk my teeth into a tasty slice of noir, and what a better way to reacquaint than with Otto Preminger's early landmark Laura. It successfully intrigues with a wonderfully serpentine mystery whilst also offering up finely tuned melodrama and a cracking script delivered by a very capable cast of players. Dana Andrews as Mark McPherson is astute casting as the hardboiled detective that finds he is falling for the seductive titular Laura (a radiant Gene Tierney) in the wake of her mysterious death. Clifton Webb…
I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.
There's so many films that ended up truly great out of sheer luck, accidents and circumstance. Laura is no different. Otto Preminger struggled in every aspect to have this film made the way he wanted, because there was always someone or something working against him. After fighting to get the cast he wanted however, he was denied the right to direct the film and relegated to producing it.
Rouben Mamoulian was given the directing gig, but when the first dailies came in the studio was less then impressed. Much to Preminger's delight he was given the go ahead to fire Mamoulian and take over…
David's Movie entry #14: January 3rd, 2014
In Memory of David Eisen
A hard boiled kind of noir that seems at first by the numbers in its approach of murder mystery with detective on the trail and several people of interest. It is not until midway or even slightly into the last act that the film started to unveil its true colors and the uniqueness it has within the genre. I actually can recall that point quite vividly and to refrain from spoilers I will just say it is when McPherson sits alone in Laura's apartment gazing at her portrait in kind of postmortem affection that never was.
I think Preminger does a great job in this one fooling the…
Incredibly shallow, but so superbly made that it's easy to ignore it. I've seen some people who are much smarter than me make the argument that it's both A. a film about male projection, and B. a film about male obsession. Not so sure I buy into the former, given how little Laura differs from one man's perspective to another (would need something Rashomon-esque to work that way). Regarding the latter: yes, but it doesn't really connect to our protagonist. Dana Andrews is great at steamrolling over people's bullshit, and he could be enormously effective as someone who had trouble expressing himself or integrating into society (see: The Best Years of Our Lives), but he's not so good at playing…
One of my favorite film noirs
Classic noir detective story full of mystery and quirkiness.
Really good. There are so many "oh shit" moments in this movie that it kept me surprised and entertained all the way through, just like a good whodunit should.
Wow. What a knockout.
I'm not sure exactly what it is about Laura that's so intoxicating. There's the mystery and intrigue, of course, but little there is very fresh, even for 1944's standards. I think maybe it's the lineup of characters, although the two leads aren't much to write home about in that regard--although they look very pretty and turn in nice performances, Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney are majorly outshone by their costars. Judith Anderson and Vincent Price play eccentric socialites who chew every piece of scenery imaginable and steal every scene they appear in, but then of course there's Clifton Webb at the heart of it all. Webb's Waldo Lydecker narrates the whole film, and when he is…
Entertaining with beautiful and striking cinematography and production. Premminger's film is mature and treats the viewer as an intelligent being, but at no point does it reinvent the wheel for detective drama. Some of the acting is rather robotic but it's more than satisfying for 80 odd minutes of entertainment.
Los caminos del melodrama y el noir se cruzan... y sale una lección magistral de puro cine clásico.
Starring Dana Stevens as a detective preoccupied with a pocket baseball game. There's another film of this era that uses the exact same business for the lead, but the name escapes me.
Vincent Price, in a non-horror role, plays the role of a cad and plays it well.
The implied grisliness of the murder at the center of the story may be a bit too trivialized.
I don't know much about art but I know what I like and I like Gene Tierney.
What I wouldn't give to be the third wheel splitting a bottle of fine wine with Waldo Lydecker and All About Eve's Addison DeWitt. Although the erudite cattiness might be powerful enough to generate a blackhole.
"I write with a goose quill dipped in venom."
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!